Commentary: National movement against sexual assault

#MeToo has had an effect on Brett Kavanaugh’s ongoing hearing

  Just more than a week before U.S. Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote, Christine Blasey Ford accused the nominee of sexual assault. She claims that while they were both in high school, a drunken 17-year-old Kavanaugh pushed her into a bedroom, forced her onto a bed, straddled her, attempted to remove her clothes and covered her mouth with his hand while she screamed.

  Her story is acutely reminiscent of the recent #MeToo era, a movement that seemingly revolutionized formalities of American politics and the societal status of woman.

  But did the powerful movement that swept across our nation actually have an impact on one of America’s most dignified political and governmental stages?

  Yes … and no.

  Yes – #MeToo has helped society take baby steps towards gender equality. Senators on the Judiciary Committee as well as other career politicians have not insulted or disparaged Ford outright for her allegations. Some, both Democrats and Republicans, have applauded Ford for her courage and willingness to face the committee in person and testify against Kavanaugh in a hearing.  

  This might sound like a low bar to clear – and that’s because it is. Although I can assure you the bar has been raised since the Anita Hill hearings.

  In 1991, Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas was going through the nomination process when, toward the end of his confirmation hearing, Anita Hill accused the nominee of sexual harassment.

  Anita Hill, a law school professor, was then ridiculed, dismissed and seen as a scorned woman with a fantasy.

  No – #MeToo has not made significant progress toward equality.

 No – #MeToo has not made significant progress toward equality.

— Spencer Cova

  Let’s talk about Ford’s education – Ford has a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina, a masters degree from Pepperdine, a doctoral degree from the University of Southern California, and she is currently a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University as well as Stanford. Lawmakers have strongly suggested before and throughout the hearings that Ford must be mistaken about who assaulted her.

  I have a hard time believing any politician would accuse a man, given that level of education, of such unawareness. Although it has been delivered in a less blatant and obvious way than during Anita Hill’s appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the substance still remains the same – they insist they know more about a woman’s experience than she does.

  The #MeToo movement swept across our nation boldly and tirelessly, yet I have yet to see the truly revolutionary effects in places where they matter most.